Kilbirnie 0 Glenafton 3

Sat 22nd Sep 2018 KO 2:00pm 

McBookie West Region Premiership | Match 9

Valefield Park,  Kilbirnie


Glenafton made three changes to the side that started against Kirkintilloch Rob Roy last Saturday. In came new signing and former Kilmarnock midfielder Dean Hawkshaw, Dan Orsi and Leon Murphy for Cameron Marlow, Dale Moore and Conor Lynass. Meanwhile top goalscorer Chris Dallas was still missing through injury and Findlay Frye serving the second of his two-game suspension.

The Valefield playing surface was looking lush in the autumn sunshine and both sides were quick into their stride with Hawkshaw and his counterpart No. 8 David Anderson in the thick of the action.


Dean Hawkshaw and David Anderson

Good work down the left by Murphy and Alan Cairns won the Glens a corner kick on 3 minutes which was taken short by Hawkshaw to Cairns who floated a ball into the box where it was headed wide by Mick McCann. The home side countered through full back Grant Mitchell who switched play from wide on the right to deep into the left hand side of the box where Ryan Hynes chased down the ball before fashioning a low angled shot that lacked the power to test keeper Brian McGarrity.

Back came the visitors with Orsi playing a neat one-two with McCann before his cross was deflected for a corner kick which was then headed on at the near post by Ally Park and Orsi’s attempt to guide the ball home was well held by keeper Grant Hay. In the action Kilbirnie’s Anderson and Michael O’Byrne collided and required treatment kindly administered by Glens physio Michelle McInnes.


Alan Cairns gets another cross in

On 10 minutes Ladeside’s tenacious Jon Scullion’s free-kick from 30 yards out saw McGarrity deal well with an awkward bounce to push the ball away before gathering it safely.

Play continued to flow from end to end albeit in a hectic fashion without any clear-cut chances being created until Hynes elegant back heel tight on the left touchline took two Glens defenders out play and released David Gray for a free run into the box before drilling a low ball to the near post for the incoming Scullion but the striker failed to connect and the chance was gone.

On 19 minutes a Glens attack down the right initiated by former Blastie Darren McLean was repelled and play was switched to the left where Cairns picked out Joe Andrew in the box who laid the ball off to Park and his net-bound shot brilliantly blocked by centre back Reon Juskowiak.

Soon after Ladeside were forced to make a change with Scullion having to come off and replaced by Joel Kasubandi.

Glens were now on the front foot and broke the deadlock on 23 minutes. Kyle McAusland broke from deep to play the ball forward to Orsi and although his first attempt to feed McCann was thwarted he recovered the ball to play a one-two with McCann before whipping the ball into the box which was stopped by the outstretched hand of Juskowiak after which Joe Andrew netted the loose ball. The whistle for the hand ball had been blown however and Mick McCann sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot kick as he buried the ball in the right-hand corner of the goal.


Gordon McQueen looks on as Mick McCann celebrates scoring the opener

Glens continued to press and Andrew set up the marauding Park in the box only for O’Byrne to clear before he could get his shot away. The keeper flapped at Hawksworth’s corner-kick as Andrew challenged and the loose ball cleared at the expense of another corner which Anderson cleared from the boot of McLean.

On 36 minutes the Glens mopped up a Blastie’s attack to break forward and the lively Orsi whipped another wicked ball across the face of goal but there were no takers. Soon after Murphy, McCann and Park combined to set up Orsi at the edge of the box to power a low drive that Hay did well to get down low and push the ball wide of the post for a corner-kick that was well defended.


Dan Orsi on the move

Five minutes before the break Kasubandi turned McAusland in the box but the big defender found his bearings to block his shot and then clear the ball to the outskirts of the box where Davie Anderson (No. 4) leathered the ball first time and took a slight deflection to send the ball inches wide. The corner kick that followed was headed clear by Park at the back post and set up a lightning counter-attack through Murphy that ended with Craig Menzies being dispossessed at the edge of the Blasties’ box.

Both sides breached the other’s penalty boxes without testing the keepers as an entertaining half  drew to a close.

H/T Kilbirnie 0 Glens 1

Early pressure after the break from the Glens earned them a corner-kick that was cleared and the ball quickly recovered by the visitors to string some good passes together before McLean on the right switched the ball to the back post for Murphy from a tight angle beat the keeper only for the ball hit the base of the opposite post. McCann then caught the Ladeside defence on the hop to burst into box and drill a low angled show beyond the reach of the keeper only for the ball to sneak wide of the back post.

On 50 minutes the home side responded with a fantastic run through the middle by David Anderson before squeezing through the gap between two red shirts and deep into the box only for McAusland to make a perfectly timed and executed tackle 12 yards from goal. McGarrity punched the corner-kick clear and Hawkshaw initiated the counter-attack that earned the Glens a corner that was cleared to the outskirts of the box where McAusland curled a shot that drifted just wide of target.


Kyle McAusland robs David Anderson as the young team look on

The chances continued to come thick and fast. An exquisite touch by Andrew released Murphy wide on the left hand side of the box to square the ball for the incoming Orsi to shoot inches wide. At the other end Scullion cleverly set up a shot from distance but it lacked the power to fully test the keeper. Back came Glens and Murphy’s shot from a tight angle was well held by the keeper at the near post as McCann threatened.

On 62 minutes Davie Anderson tried to release full back Mitchell down the right only for Cairns to intercept, however the Glens defender got a flying elbow in the face unseen by the officials leaving Mitchell free to float ball to the back post where Kasubandi headed over. Cairns did not recover treatment and was replaced by Cammy Marlow soon after.

Midway through the half Scullion’s free-kick from 23 yards out curled well wide of target. Undeterred, Scullion came back again cutting in from the left to drill a low shot that squeezed between McGarrity and the incoming Connor McVey at the near post and seemed net-bound before Marlow blocked the ball on the line and Murphy hoofed it clear.

With 15 minutes to go Glens lost another full-back to injury with Darren McLean having to make way for Ryan McChesney who slotted into the centre of defence while Craig Menzies moved to the right back spot. The big centre was soon called into action and cut out Kasabundi’s cross to the near post for Mcvey with a powerful header. He then stretched out a leg to block Kasabundi’s shot from 22 yards.

Glens then showed their teeth with a Hawkshaw shot from distance drifting wide followed quickly by Murphy’s mazy run into the box packed with four defenders and it was Juskowiak that managed to clear, at the expense of a corner, before the midfielder could fashion a shot at goal.

On 81 minutes with the game still very much in the balance the home side won a free kick 22 yards out for Scullion to clip over the wall only for the ball to dip over the bar.


Jon Scullion free kick dips over the bar

Glens brought on fresh legs of Dale Moore for Leon Murphy who had covered every blade of the manicured Ladeside pitch.  Both sides continued to press and with the time running out the Glens all but secured the points with a minute to go. Andrew’s header released Moore down the right and finding himself boxed in at the corner flag he rolled the ball back to Marlow who whipped a marvellous ball to the far corner of the six yard box where Orsi leapt above Ryan McCreath to crash a header off the bar and Mick McCann pounced on the rebound to guide the ball home from six yards.


Mick McCann makes it 2-0

Kilbirnie came close to carving out a consolation deep into added time but McAusland again denied Anderson with a timely tackle in the box. Park picked up the loose ball and broke to the half-way line before picking out Moore who drifted past a couple of defenders then rolled the ball to McCann in the box to curl the ball beyond the reach of the keeper into the net for his hat-trick.


Mick’s hat-trick

F/T Kilbirnie 0 Glens 3

Glenafton Athletic: 1. Brian McGarrity 2. Darren McLean (16. Ryan McChesney 74) 3. Alan Cairns (17. Cameron Marlow 65) 4. Craig Menzies 5. Kyle McAusland 6. Ally Park 7. Dan Orsi 8. Dean Hawkshaw 9. Mick McCann 10. Joe Andrew 11. Leon Murphy (12. Dale Moore 81). Subs not used: 14. Conor Lynass 15. Kit Cummins 17. Craig Burns (gk)

Kilbirnie Ladeside: 1. Grant Hay 2. Grant Mitchell 3. Ryan McCreath 4.Davie Anderson 5. Reon Juskowiak 6. Michael O’Byrne 7. Connor McVey 8. David Anderson 9. Ryan Hynes 10. Jon Scullion 11. David Gray  12. James Finlay 14, Joel Kasubandi 15. Cory Hughes 16. Reece Williamson 17. Joe Wilson

more photos here

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